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PDF summary : COMPARATIVE LCA OF IMPOSSIBLE BURGER WITH CONVENTIONAL BEEF BURGER less aquatic pollutants. These numbers reflect the latest Impossible Burger® recipe (2.0) .

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Prepared by:

Sofia Khan (Quantis) ° Cristobal Loyola (Quantis) - Jon Dettling (Quantis) 0 Joshua Hester
Rebekah Moses (Impossib‘e Foods)

For: Impossible Foods



Sofia Khan Cristébal Loyola

Senior Sustainability Consultant Sustainability Consultant

Project title Comparative environmental LCA of the Impossible Burger® with

conventional ground beef burger

Contracting organization Impossible Foods

Liability statement Information contained in this report has been compiled from
and/or computed from sources believed to be credible.
Application ofthe data is strictly at the discretion and the
responsibility ofthe reader. Quantis Is not liable for any loss or
damage arising from the use ofthe Information In this

Version Final Report; 27 February 2019
Project team Sofia Khan (
Jon Dettling (Services & Innovation
Cristobal Loyola (cristobal,[email protected]—intlcom) —Ana|yst

Joshua Hester (

Client contacts Rebekah Moses (
Senior Manager, Impact Strategy

External reviewers Gidon Eshel, Ph.D. ([email protected] Thoma, Ph.D. ([email protected] Pelletier, Ph.D. (|[email protected],ca) — University of

British Columbia

Associated files This report is associated with the following electronic file:

. Impact2002+ v2.28 Characterization Factors,


Executive Summary

The global community is facing an imperative to feed 10 billion people by 2050, and an urgent
need to sustain a food secure future while also preserving and strengthening the natural
environment. Over the next several decades, world food demand is expected to increase by
50%, and demand for animal products by at least 70%, entailing risks for human resilience
clue to the intensive resource use associated with animal—derived food (Alexandratos &
Bruinsma, 2012).

The current agricultural system pushes many environmental thresholds past what can be
considered sustainable or scalable. To preserve existing land and water resources, and to
implement strategies needed to keep global warming below a 1.5 “C rise as adopted by the
international 2016 Paris Agreement, more sustainable consumer options are needed to meet
the growing demand for meat and dairy products without relying on the inefficiencies of
translating plants through an animal and onto a plate. Alternatives to cattle products in
particular will be critical.

Impossible Foods has developed one such product: The Impossible Burger®, made directly
from plants. This analysis uses life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to compare the
potential environmental impacts of Impossible Burger® 2.0 to those of a conventional,
industrial ground beef burger produced in the 05. Comparison is possible due to the culinary

and nutritional equivalence of the Impossible Burger® with that of animal—derived ground

Animal farming is the largest resource user within agriculture. It requires between 1/3 to 1/2
of all ice-free land, about one third of fresh water, contributes close to a fifth of global GHGs,
and generates nutrient pollution creating enormous ’dead zones’ in coastal ecosystems
(Herrero, et al., 2016; Eshel, Martin, & Bowen, 2010; Reid, et al., 2008). Meat from ruminants
is particularly impactful, occupying about 2/3 of global agricultural land and generating about
half of agriculture’s total GHG emissions. Animals convert plants into meat and dairy, yet do
so within the constraints of an animal metabolism, thus losing the vast majority of the protein
and calories contained in the plants consumed. This report focuses on the resource—sparing
potential of bypassing the animal entirely, and creating equivalent products directly from

This analysis finds that the Impossible Burger® requires 87% less water, 96% less land, and
produces 89% fewer GHG emissions than the animal version, Additionally, it contributes 92%


less aquatic pollutants. These numbers reflect the latest Impossible Burger® recipe (2.0),
launched in 2019.

These unit-level, or ’per burger’, LCAs are important to test product-based impact, yet must
be considered within the broader context of animal agriculture’s environmental impact and
the opportunity cost of relying on animals for meat and dairy. For example, 40% of the
continental US land is used to produce beef, thus LCA results are most meaningful when
considered within the global or national consumption context (Eshel, Shepon, Makov, & Milo,

We compare the cradle-to-gate potential impacts per kg of final product of the Impossible
Burger® and a U.S. ground beef burger. Nutritional desirability is outside our resource—
focused scope; further, the Impossible Burger® has a comparable nutritional content to the
beef burger. At the same time, the Impossible Burger® has a similar cooking time, shelf—life,
and distribution system to the beef burger, hence these activities were excluded from the

Data from lifecycle inventory (LCI) databases (e.g,, ecoinvent v3.3, allocation — recycled
content SCLCI 2014, World Food Lifecycle Database v3.1) are used to calculate the potential
environmental impact of both products, focusing on four environmental impact indicators:
aquatic eutrophication potential, global warming potential, land occupation, and water
consumption, We have reported on other midpoint and endpoint indicators using IMPACT
2002+ method in the appendix, for broader understanding rather than as the focus of the

Table 1. Baseline resultsfor a kg of Impossible Burger® and beefburger {IMPACT 2002+ v2.28).
Italic number in parenthesis represent 95% confidence intervals.
Impact Category Unit Impossible Burger® Beef Burger Difference %
. . . . 1.3 15.1 D
Aquatic eutrophication potential 3 P04 eq (2.39.7) (14.3-60.6) 92/»
. . 3.5 30.6 0
Global warming potential kg COZ-eq (3.14.0) (25.3-37.5) 89/:
. 2.5 62.0
a: _ 0
Land occupation m2.y (1.63.7) (37.04015) 96/:
. 106.8 850.1 0
Water consumption | (563-2033) (6119-12381) 87A:

* Land occupation is reported at an LC/ level.

This assessment relies on the best available LCA-related information on food production and
conforms with the ISO 14044 standard, For all studied impacts, the Impossible Burger® offers
substantial impact reductions ranging from 87% to 96% compared to U.S. beef burger. The
study results show that per kilogram of frozen, ready—to-ship burger patty:

- Aquatic eutrophication potential decreases from 15 g POA-eq for beef burger to 1.3 g
PO4—eq for the Impossible Burger? The reduction is due to the avoided manure


emissions from raising beef cattle, avoided fertilizer emissions during feed production,
and a reduction in electricity consumption by avoiding slaughtering activities.

- Global warming potential impacts reduced by 27.2 kgCOz—eq in favor of the Impossible
Burger®. The most significant reductions come from the avoided emissions associated
with manure and enteric emissions resulting from raising beef cattle.

0 Land occupation reduced from 62.0 m2 per year for the beef burger to 2,5 m2 per year
for the Impossible Burger®. In the case of the Impossible Burger®, avoiding raising
beef cattle not only reduces pasture land occupation for grazing, which represents
86% of beef burger land occupation; but also reduces agricultural land demand from
6.8 m2 per year to 2.4 m2 per year. This is because of the decreased agricultural
products demand for beef cattle feed.

I Water consumption savings are estimated at 743 liters in favor of Impossible Burger®.
The largest water savings are a result of the avoided burden associated with irrigation
in the cultivation of feed crops for beef cattle.

8% 1 1% 13%
0., - I _


Autiuiic culropl‘zication Global warming potential |,antl0ttupot1tm Water consumption

I Impossible Buigoi I Bt‘igi Burgei

Figure 1: Results comparison of Impossible Burger® and BeefBurger (Impact 2002+ v2.28).

For both products, the raw material production stage contributes the most to the total
environmental impacts studied across the four impact indicators, The results demonstrate
that raw material production stage contribution to total impacts are >78% for aquatic
eutrophication, >60% for GHG emissions, >99% for land occupation and >79% of water
consumption for both beef burger and the Impossible Burger®. For the beef burger, cattle
raising and feed production are the primary contributing activities in raw material production.
For the Impossible Burger® the main contributing activities in the raw material production
stage were plant—based ingredient production and manufacturing. The Impossible Burger®
has a dramatically lower resource demand than that of beef. As a result, the proportion of


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